It seems as if I’ve known Jennie Walker all her life. I know that’s impossible because she’s 48, and I moved here in 1970.
“It’s taken a lifetime,” she said from her home in New York City. “I have an album coming out on Oct. 3. It’s on pre-order on iTunes.”
The CD is called “Night Flight to London,” and if you’re flying in British Airways, you can hear the song as part of the on-flight recording.
Jennie graduated from Hardaway High School and got her degree in speech communications from Columbus State University. But she’s quick to say it was called Columbus College back then.
Music ran in her family. Her late mother, Jennie Louise Smith Walker, was a songwriter and singer.
Jennie said her first music lessons were with the Central Texas Girls Choir. Her family moved here in 1977.
She and her mother joined the Georgia Music Industry Association that same year. After graduating from college, she moved to Atlanta in 1985 and joined the GMIA board. She later was president from 1998-2000.
A job offer took her to New York, where she worked as the program development manager at Synergos, which is part of the Global Philanthropists Circle, founded by Peggy Dulaney, the daughter of David Rockefeller.
She was there for two years.
Jennie then became a fund-raising consultant.
But no matter what she’s done professionally to make a living, Jennie has always written songs and sang wherever she could.
“I’m working more intensely with the music than I’ve ever done before,” she said.
And along the way, there were some missteps, but now, everything seems to be on track.
For years, Jennie would call me, all excited about a CD release. Then, she’d call me back, letting me know it had fallen apart.
She feels that she’s learned enough and is strong enough that she can put out this CD on her own.
“The important thing is now putting out this album out on my own.” Currently, she’s learning about digital distribution.
With her songs sold on Amazon.com and iTunes, her work will be eligible to be counted on music charts like Billboard.
Jennie’s got a lofty goal: “I eventually want to be No. 1.”
To do that, she’s got to get the word out.
“I have an opportunity to really make people aware of me,” she said. “This will give me two months to see” if her music takes off before the CD drops on Oct. 3.
“People are starting to buy the album now,” she said. “I’ve sold about eight so far. It’s exciting.”
She admits that most of the eight have been bought by her two brothers and her sister, and couple of good friends.
“That’s eight that I know of, Now there’s 4,992 to go. It’s a big number but not that big.”
She had 5,000 CDs manufactured digitally and in disc form.
“I’m in the process of getting my first music video now,” she said. So she’s learning the complexities of making a music video. Jennie is getting the storyboard written and hopes to go to London to shoot the video.
Jennie co-wrote all 12 songs with Tommy Faragher, the music producer who has worked with artists like Elvis Costello, Angelique Kidjoe, the Bee Gees and Taylor Dane. He’s currently working with the “Glee” cast.
“He’s had a very long career,” Jennie said. “We work very well together. I come up with the lyrics and melodies and he cleans it up, makes it commercial and does all the music arrangements.”
Jennie thinks her mother would be very pleased.
“I’m very proud. I have a small business. And at 48, being a new artist, there’s no reason that I can’t have a top album.”
Way to go, Jennie.